The Role of Lay Licensed Ministers
“LLMs will be lay people, holding the Bishop’s licence, trained to national standards, with national accreditation and transferability. Their distinctive role will be a focus, beacon and enabler for all forms of lay ministry.” - Re-imagining ministry in the Diocese of Chelmsford 2013.
Licensed Lay Ministers will work with ordained ministers and other lay leaders to enable the local churches of the diocese to be a Transforming Presence.
The diocese has discerned a need for licensed lay ministers, theologically trained and with a clear leadership function. This leadership role may be expressed in a number of ways,
- as an adult educator, encouraging, training and mentoring other lay ministries. LLMs may lead the Course in Christian Studies or other training and outreach, such as Alpha, Emmaus. They will be well placed to act as coaches and mentors to other lay ministries such as Authorised Local Preachers,
- as one who contributes skills of leadership in local churches and deaneries. LLMs will be encouraged to share the skills which they have acquired in their work and community roles in the context of church life,
- as a co-ordinator and trainer of Christian nurture, such as children’s work and enquirer’s groups. In this way those who nurture others may themselves be resourced and refreshed
- as one who attends to the connection between faith and daily life, worship and witness. It is essential that the mission of the Church is focussed outwards and that God's people are able to live out their faith in their homes, communities and jobs.
It is to be expected the LLM will preach and lead worship as an expression of their visible role as a focal representative of lay ministry, though this may not be the central focus of their ministry.
LLMs will be expected to exercise this ministry both within and beyond the boundaries of their own local church. The introduction of this form of ministry is closely linked to the development of Mission and Ministry units. (see www.chelmsford.anglican.org/policies/ministry-framework) The nature of the licence (i.e. to a benefice or to a deanery) will need to be negotiated in the light of the role that will be fulfilled.
Candidates for LLM will need to demonstrate commitment to lay ministry and be willing to serve as LLMs for at least 5 years after licensing.
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Training for Lay Licensed Ministry
Training will focus on the development of knowledge, skills and Christian formation. It will be delivered by the diocese in collaboration with St Mellitus College.
LLMs will be expected to have completed the Course in Christian Studies, or give evidence of equivalent learning.
Three years of training will precede licensing. This will lead to a Higher Certificate in Theology (180 credits) accredited by Durham Universty. The modules will include:
- Communal worship
- Biblical and doctrinal study,
- The practice of leadership in the Church,
- Adult education,
- Preaching and leading worship.
After licensing the LLMs jointhe newly ordained curates for a programme of continuing ministerial development.